Photo editing masterclass: how to enhance colors



Photoshop Guru Martin Evening Shows How To Boost The Color In Your Images

Martin Evening has a background in advertising and landscape photography. He is well known for his knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as for his books on digital imaging. He is also the author of the world’s best-selling series Adobe Photoshop for photographers. First released in 1998, the latest edition is packed with practical examples of using Camera Raw and Photoshop to enhance your photos. On sale now for £ 45.59.

Yellow Wall by John Murray

John is a software engineer and has always loved photography. After joining the City of London and the Cripplegate Photographic Society in 2015, this rekindled her interest.

Before. Eye-catching scene with wonderful texture that just needs a color boost Pentax K-3, 16-85mm, 1 / 400sec at f / 8, ISO 500

This photograph was taken in North London near Clissold Park. John writes, “I took a day off and took my Pentax K-3 and its 16-85mm zoom lens for a walk along the New River Path. Architecture often catches my photographic eye, especially when patterns are present. I only took one photo before continuing.

I think there are two reasons why this photo works as a strong composition. There is obviously the bold color of the yellow facade, which contrasts with the blue reflections of the windows. There are also the repeating patterns of the window frames themselves as well as the diagonal lines of the woven aluminum mesh.


The main focus here was to make the colors lighter, but I also wanted to do whatever I could to make sure the image was optically corrected and the window frames were aligned vertically.

Martin’s adjustments to improve the image

1. Brighten the image

The original image was a bit underexposed. So the first step was to open the raw photo in Camera Raw, go to the Basic panel, and brighten by dragging the Exposure slider to the right. I then adjusted the remaining tone sliders to optimize the tonal range.

2. Saturate the color

The main thing I wanted to do with this particular photograph was to make the most of the bright yellow wall and the color contrast with the sky blue reflections from the windows. In this step, I increased both the vibration and the saturation to bring out those colors.

3. Apply optical corrections

For an architectural subject like this, I thought it was important to apply contoured lens correction to the image. Here I checked the Use profile corrections option. This automatically selected the correct Adobe lens profile to apply geometric distortion correction.

4. Correct the perspective

In this step, I went to the Geometry panel to apply a guided vertical transformation. To do this, I selected the Guided Upright option. I checked the Draw guides option and added two manual guides, left and right, making them line up with the sides of the window frames.

5. Balance the exposure

Now I wanted to carefully balance the exposure to keep it uniform throughout the image. I selected the Graduated Filter tool and added a Graduated Filter adjustment, dragging up from the left, and applied an adjustment increasing exposure. I also added another setting on the right.

6. Darken the corners

Finally, I went to the Effects panel, where I selected the Vignetting slider. I dragged this slider to the left to apply a darkening adjustment to the corners of the image using the Highlight Priority style. This adjustment allowed the viewer’s attention to be focused on the center of the frame.

Corrections of profiled lenses

Camera Raw and Lightroom both have a lens profile database that matches many combinations of cameras and lenses and is constantly updated. When you access the Optics panel in Camera Raw (or the Lens Corrections panel in Lightroom), you just need to check the Use Profile Corrections option to activate it. This should automatically select the correct profile for the camera and lens being used. Sometimes you may see a message that says “Built-in lens profile applied”. This is because with some cameras, lens profile corrections are applied by default when you open a raw file in Camera Raw.

Submit your images
To view your photo here for a chance to win Martin’s new book, email them to [email protected]

Further reading

Photo Editing Masterclass: How to Reduce Image Noise in Your Photos – Amateur Photographer

Photo editing masterclass: How to balance the brightness of the sky and the sea – Amateur photographer

Photo Editing Masterclass: How to Darken a Sky – Amateur Photographer

Photo editing masterclass: Merge two images – Amateur photographer


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